Tribal Art, online sale of tribal art, primitive art and primitive art
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Tribal art items:


The site Art Tribal offers a wide selection of tribal art objects, masks, statues, bronzes and everyday objects. All these tribal works are rigorously selected from international private collections.

Yombé ointment box with Pfemba pattern
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Tribal art > African Jar > Yombé box

A maternity figure pfemba , carved in the round, tops the lid of this small ointment box. The woman seated cross-legged, named phemba or pfemba, a symbol of the mythical ancestor, is likely associated with fertility cults. The child on her lap would embody the matrilineal transmission of power. Black satin patina. The Solongo cultures of Angola and Yombe were largely influenced by the Kongo kingdom from which they borrowed naturalistic statuary and religious rituals by means of carved fetishes nkondo nkisi.
The Yombe are established on the West African coast, in the southwestern Republic of Congo and in Angola. Their statuary includes remarkable maternities whose use remains little known.

Metoko mask with handle
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Tribal art > African mask > Metoko mask

African mask of the Metoko , Mituku , usually displayed at funerals. The network of parallel lines, related to traditional scarification, reveal the status of the embodied character, a dignified old man who had been a victim of witchcraft, kakungu, whose pupils are exorbitant.
Two-tone patina.
The Mbole, Yela, Lengola, and Metoko ethnic groups, whose iniatic societies include similarities, live on the left bank of the Zaire River, the Lualaba region in the former Katanga. The plastic works of these groups also have similarities.
Their society ,the Butoka , welcoming both men and women, is the equivalent of the Bwami association of the Lega. The sculptures, often geometric and decorated with colored patches, played a role in the context of initiation ceremonies, ...


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480.00  384.00

Crucifix Kongo Nkangi kiditu
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Tribal art > African Statues > Kongo Crucifix

Ex. Belgian African tribal art collection.
Among chiefs Kongo in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the crucifix held the place, among the chieftaincy regalia, of a symbol of power the authority. A ceremony at the investiture of the chief required the future ruler to receive from the hands of a dignitary, in a codified ritual, a nkangi kiditu . This badge of power, inspired by ancient Christian crucifixes imported by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century, could also have a therapeutic function, and, in addition to various uses, was brandished during funeral ceremonies in which the object was subjected to libations of oil or palm wine.
Desiccation cracks, satin patina.
The cross ...

Ngombe Ngulu execution knife
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Tribal art > Usual african items > Ngombe knife

"Execution" knives are also parade weapons, such as this ngulu whose wooden handle is wrapped with a copper strip. Each side has fine decorative hatching. In northwestern Zaire, south of the Ubangi,live the 6000 Moswea-Ngombe of Bantu language. Their neighbors are the Ngbandi and the Ngbaka and various banda groups. They knew no god but expected favors from their ancestors, among them health and prosperity. Their throwing knives used for hunting were used as currency.
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Ashanti Akua ba doll
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Tribal art > African Dolls > Ashanti doll

Ex-French African art collection.
Used among the Ashanti and Fantis of Ghana, the Akuaba (plural Akua'mma)doll statuettes are amulets used by Ashanti women to promote fertility. They are easily identified by their stylized appearance. Their flat and circular head has a high forehead occupying the upper part, the features are generally drawn in the lower third of the head. This doll is of an unusual type, its stretched form carrying a small cubic bust on which the breasts point.
Black glossy patina. Worn on the back of women, these statues are also accompanied by various rites, such as the ingestion of a potion, or the placement of the object on the family altar. After the birth of the child, the sculpture is used as a toy, and sometimes still offered to the healer in ...


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350.00  280.00

Bena Lulua Prestigious Seat
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Tribal art > African Chair > Luluwa chair

The backrest and legs of this dignitary's chair take up the signs associated with the body scarification of the ethnic group. The face of the figure with the ringed neck on top of the seat also features salient motifs. According to Rik Ceyssens in "Congo Masks" (p.156 . ed. M.L.Félix) and as attested by the sketches of H.M. Lemme who accompanied Frobenius on his travels to the Congo, this model of scarification in loops was then widespread in different Luluwa subgroups in 1905. The Bakwa also had this type of tribal scarring. Comfortable seating. Glossy patina, shaded brown, orange reflections. Erosions, slight superficial cracks.
The different types of Luluwa, Lulua, or Bena Lulua statues, presenting multiple scarifications, glorify the local chiefs, maternity, ...

Toma mask and its costume
Tribal art > African mask > Toma mask

Ancient African mask bakrogui, Simogui, or Angbaï, of the Toma of Guinea, relating to the ancestors. This mask intended to impress is equipped with a thick skin hood, lined with various elements, mirrors, cowries. It is extended by a heavy cape made of embroidered textile and velvet with colored patterns, edged with red fabric. Metal bells adorn the contours of the mask. Only members of the Poro were allowed to contemplate the bakrogui mask.
The Toma of Guinea, called Loma in Liberia, live within the forest, at high altitude. They are renowned for their landai board masks intended to enliven the initiation rites of the poro association that structures their society, and which represent spirits of the bush. As soon as the landai mask appeared, the initiates would go to the ...


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2900.00

Gelede Yoruba mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Gelede mask

The Gelede in African art.
In Nigeria, also in Benin, this African mask in the form of a janiform helmet is accompanied by its costume in cotton fabric and colored velvet. It is used for the celebratory dances of the Gelede society, and for the funerals of its followers. These masks are performed in pairs, each with a specific name.
Grainy polychrome patina. Abrasions.
The Gelede country in Nigeria pays homage to mothers through a cult of fertility, especially the older ones, whose powers are said to be comparable to those of the Yoruba gods, or orisa , and ancestors, osi and which can be used for the benefit but also for the misfortune of society. In the latter case these women are named aje . Masked ceremonies, through performances using masks, costumes and ...


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Mukisi a kukaya zoomorphic Luba mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Luba mask

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This large African mask features a spherical skull framed by horns curling forward. Small animal ears point to either side of large eye sockets and a human nose. A voluminous mouth develops on the lower partc.
Smooth, lustrous patina, abrasions and cracks.
These masks occurred in different traditions: investitures, funerals, and rites against witchcraft in the different initiatory societies. In the eastern part of the Luba region, important ceremonies are held in honor of the clan's ancestors, deceased chiefs, and the new moon. Offerings are then made to the spirits of nature, intermediaries between the group and the ancestors.


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490.00  392.00

Janiform Songye fetish
Tribal art > African Statues > Songye statue

French African art collection.
Intriguing fetishes that are Songye sculptures...the only accessories with which this ritual statue is equipped consist of a thin tie girdling the hips and a skin coil around the ringed neck. The kifwebe mask of the Bwadi ka bifwebe society appears here in a janiform appearance.
Satin patina, locally glossed, cracks.
The fetish Songye , magical sculpture Nkisi , nkishi (pl. mankishi ) , plays the role of mediator between gods and men. If the large specimens are the collective property of a whole village, the more modest figures belong to an individual or a family. In the 16th century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle in Kasai, Katanga and South Kivu. Their society is organized in a patriarchal manner. ...


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980.00

Royal Hemba sword and its scabbard
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Tribal art > Usual african items > Hemba sword

The carved handle of the sword depicts a forefather singiti whose features appear very finely engraved. The faces are bordered by a frontal diadem and a tenuous beard collar in slight relief. The singiti refer to local chiefs, founders of royal lineages, or warlords. T he sword is engraved with discreet decorative motifs. Very beautiful object with a glossy black-brown patina, kaolin residues. Base on request in addition.
The Hemba, established in southeastern Zaire, on the right bank of the Lualaba, were for a long time subject to the neighboring Luba Empire, which had a definite influence on their culture, religion and art. Ancestor worship, whose effigies have long been attributed to the Luba, is central to hemba society. Genealogy is indeed the guarantor of ...

Songye Kalebwe Nkishi fetish statue
Tribal art > African fetish > Songye statue

French coll.traditional African art. This carved figure Nkisi, nkishi (pl. mankishi ) is equipped with magical charges bishimba which were inserted into the skull cavity if the abdomen did not have them. The power of the fetish would be further enhanced by the presence of various accessories, metal, quolifichets, etc... Beautiful orange-brown patina. Slight accidents and cracks of desiccation.
These protection fetishes intended for the houses are among the most appreciated of Africa. The Nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and men. The large examples are the collective property of an entire village, while the smaller figures belong to an individual or a family. In the sixteenth century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle on the left bank of ...


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3500.00

Great Dogon door
Tribal art > Door shutter > Dogon door

Coll.art africain française.
The closing systems of the Sudanese regions in African art.
The door is made of two boards assembled by staples. Anthropomorphic figures, schematized, as well as the symbolic decorative motifs, appeal to the rich Dogon cosmogony. The figures may symbolize previous generations, mythical ancestors, and the owners of the granary are also frequently featured.
Beautiful alternation of geometric volumes for this ancient Dogon door of uncommon size. Thick black patina, locally chipped. According to Dogon mythology, The Nommo founded the eight Dogon lineages and instilled weaving, the art of blacksmithing, and agriculture in their human descendants. The patterns on doors in Mali, apart from their decorative value, are intended to deter ...


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3500.00

Chokwe mask
Tribal art > African mask > Tschokwe mask

Ex-collection African art from Belgium.
The Tschokwe, in African tribal art , have a male association, the mukanda, which makes use of some thirty African masks , made of wood, related to ancestors, for various social purposes: the cikugu mask, the cihongo, the pwo mask, kalelwa, cikunza. They were also joined with colorful cotton cloth and often also various small objects. The abundant braided headdress is a specificity of Chokwe masks. However, this example does not have the usual motifs linked to the group's scarifications, only the oblique lines, symbolizing tears, are perceptible on the cheeks. Height on base: 48 cm. Velvety black patina, cracked.
The Tschokwe, of Bantu culture, had established themselves in the east of Angola, but also in Congo and ...


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490.00

Punu Okuyi mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Punu mask

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A serene softness distinguishes the Punu masks. The latter, wearing braids gathered in a shell and encircled with a hood, offers delicately drawn eyebrows highlighting bulbous, half-closed eyelids and prominent lips lifted with red ocher. Velvety matte patina, abrasions.br>


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390.00  312.00

Headrest Tumbwe
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Tribal art > Head rest > Headrest Tumbwe

Ex Belgian African art collection. Rectangular neckrest, dense and massive, adopting cephalomorphic handles. Patina of use, veined wood, glossy.
The Tabwa ("to scarify" and "to write") constitute an ethnic group present in the southeast of the DRC, around Lake Tanganyika. Tribes in this region, such as the Tumbwe , worship ancestors mipasi through carvings held by chiefs or sorcerers. Simple cultivators with no centralized power, the Tabwa federated around tribal chiefs after coming under the influence of the Luba. It was mainly during this period that their artistic current was expressed mainly through statues but also masks. The Tabwa practiced ancestor worship and dedicated some of their statues to them. Animists, their beliefs are anchored around the ngulu , nature ...


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350.00  280.00

Dogon statue
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Tribal art > African Statues > Dogon statue

Declined in tubular volumes, this Dogon sculpture represents a mythical being, or an ancestor without facial features. The head evokes, for the Dogon, the egg of the world created by the word of the god Amma. A disk forms the shoulders, extended by fine arms, one of which points to the sky. The Dogon decorative motifs, in broken lines and rings, associated with traditional scarifications, are engraved on the whole. They refer to the Dogon cosmogony. Medium brown patina.

Carved for the most part on commission by a family, Dogon statues may also be the object of worship by the entire community. However, their functions remain little known. In parallel with Islam, Dogon religious rites are organized around four main cults: the Lebe, relating to fertility, under the ...


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Songola Bwami figure
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Tribal art > African Statues > Songola statue

Rare Songola statuette, with residues of light pigments on one part of the face and tiny traces of red ochre on the other. These statuettes embody a deceased ancestor of the Nsubi society. Some of the sculptures were reserved for the Songola high ranking officials of the Bwami. Beautiful glossy patina, abrasions from use.
Mixed by marriage with the Lega, Ngengele and Zimba, the Songola are governed by the elders of the lineages. They borrowed from the Luba and Songye the Luhuna institution composed of dignitaries and that of the Bwami by their lega wives. The Songola live by hunting and fishing, they engage in sculpture although the objects associated with the Bwami cult come from the Lega. Among their reduced statuary, the figures of ancestors of the Nsubi society ...


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350.00  280.00

Nsindi Songola Mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Songola Mask

Ex-American African tribal art collection.
Recalling a famous painting by Munch, this flat mask presents a bloodless face, with small circular eyes housed under eyebrow arches carved in heart, and provided with a gaping mouth that seems indeed to emit a cry. Heterogeneous brown patina, granular residues, cracks of desiccation. Height on pedestal: 51 cm.
Mixed by alliance with the Lega, Ngengele and Zimba, the Songola or Babili , or Goa , are governed by the elders of the lineages. They borrowed from the Luba and Songye the Luhuna institution composed of dignitaries and that of the Bwami by their lega wives. The Songola live from hunting and fishing, they are engaged in sculpture although the objects associated with the cult of the Bwami come from the Lega. Among their ...


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Nyao, Nyau, Chewa mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Chewa mask

This mask comes from the Chewa of Malawi. It is used during the ceremonies of the initiation society Nyaun or Nyao , an association found in the regions near Lake Malawi: eastern Zambia, western Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe among immigrants from Malawi.
These masks featuring rounded faces are painted in bright colors, such as this Chewa face mask whose slightly asymmetrical features, framed by ears with developed auricles, feature painted eyes, prominent cheekbones, short, slightly upturned nose, gaping mouth with fleshy lips. The forehead is covered with a hood and fragments of various textiles halo the contours. Abraded polychrome patina. Height on base : 49 cm.


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750.00  600.00





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